Water System Asset Management Plan Update

The Borough Engineer completed an Asset Management Plan that was officially accepted by the Mayor and Council. Within this plan are proposed improvements that would enhance the efficiency of the water system.
The Ordinance, that will provide the required funding for these improvements,  was adopted by the Mayor and Council on May 9, 2019. A list of the improvements are contained within the Ordinance which is linked at the bottom of the page.
The Borough is seeking grants, no-interest loans and low-interest loans from the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank, to help fund these water utility improvements. Doing so, will lessen the impact on the water utility budget thereby, reducing the amount that would need to be paid for by the Borough water system customers. The Borough water utility is required by State regulation to be financially self-sustaining. Every effort is being made to reduce the costs of the system enhancements.

Water System Asset Management Plan

The final draft of the asset management plan was presented to the Mayor and Council at the March 7, 2019 meeting held at the Fire House. Borough Engineer, William Burr, and his associate Sue Brasefield, presented the plan and responded to questions from the governing officials.
The Council adopted a resolution officially accepting the plan and directing that it be submitted to the NJDEP as required under the Water Quality and Accountability Act.

Water System Asset Management Plan

Water Quality Accountability Act

On July 21, 2017, the Water Quality Accountability Act became law in New Jersey. This requires municipally owned water utilities to adhere to the same regulations as privately owned water companies such as establishing an asset management plan for routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs to the water utility’s infrastructure. This will increase the cost of operating a municipal water company that will likely prompt the raising of user fees to cover these costs.

The Borough has engaged Maser Consulting to undertake an asset management plan, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2018.

Upgrades to the High Bridge water system

The Borough is identifying several upgrades that would be needed to improve the water system in High Bridge. If voters decide to retain ownership of the water utility, these improvements will need to be made over a period of time. Since publicly owned utilities are required to be financially self-sufficient, the costs would need to come from water user fees. Because of the size and magnitude of many of these projects, the Borough would need to borrow the funds through a bond ordinance, thereby spreading the payments over a longer period of time.

Applicable Documents

New Jersey American Water Bid | Aqua New Jersey BidRFP for Sale of the Water System | Ordinance | Mailer | Oct 7 PowerPoint presentation by Council Subcommittee | Water System General Improvements CostDraft Water System Asset Management Plan | Annual Drinking Water Quality Report 2019 | Annual Drinking Water Quality Report 2020

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